In early October, “Father Damien” was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome. This religious and spiritual ceremony is an opportunity to reflect on Father Damien’s life and the lives of those with whom he was most closely associated — people affected by leprosy.

In 1873, Father Damien, a Belgian priest, went to live among people with leprosy who had been exiled to a peninsula on Molokai Island in Hawaii. It was when leprosy was feared as a dangerous, contagious disease that had no cure.

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